Ira's Visit to the UK and France

Oct 5th, 2013, 06:08 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Enjoying your trip report and anxiously awaiting more.

We were held on the ground three hours because at first the door wouldn't close properly. Then engineers came on board and finally they closed the door. Only to find out by the captain that the air conditioning didn't work so they had to re-open the doors to let the engineers back on board to fix the air conditioning in the cockpit area. Guess what? After that they had trouble closing the doors again. Hence the three hour delay before take off.
europeannovice is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 06:33 PM
  #42  
 
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Ira, I always love your reports. The little "hiccups" on a trip are usually funny later. Sounds like your incident with the cops will be one of those times.

Glad to hear you are still staying at Hotel Bonaparte. Unlike other posters, I have had no problems at all with this hotel and I have stayed there 4 times. Planning on being there in September 2014 for the Auto Show.

Looking forward to the next days of your trip.
scatcat is offline  
Oct 5th, 2013, 07:39 PM
  #43  
 
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Oh, this made my day to check back in on Fodors for the first time in weeks and see an ira trip report!!
TexasAggie is offline  
Oct 6th, 2013, 11:21 AM
  #44  
 
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bardo1 is offline  
Oct 6th, 2013, 02:52 PM
  #45  
 
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I love your hints and recommendations, especially about the Zoloft! Can't wait to read more.
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Oct 6th, 2013, 03:46 PM
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Well done (trip AND TR!)--I'm now awaiting the rest of the report with anticipation of more giggling!
texasbookworm is offline  
Oct 7th, 2013, 01:07 AM
  #47  
 
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Wonderful reporting, as usual, and thanks again for posting.
Dukey1 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2013, 06:42 AM
  #48  
ira
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Thanks for the kind words, all.
ira is offline  
Oct 7th, 2013, 08:11 AM
  #49  
ira
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Since the days of The Old Queen, the Royal Family has summered at Balmoral Castle, not far from Braemar.

For nearly 200 years, Braemar has been the site of a gathering of clans (http://www.braemargathering.org/ ) who compete in a friendly manner in various native sports such as throwing telephone poles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZOeHoyNd6c ) and other feats of strength and endurance.

The Gathering is held on the first Saturday in September; and is quite a spectacle. Her Majesty attended, as she always has, along with Prince Philip and Prince Charles. It was nip and tuck for a while as storm clouds kept threatening to blanket the area with rain, but the Palace, once again, came through.

The sun came out about ten minutes late, and the Royal Patron arrived.

Tickets for the gathering, along with infield parking, go on sale in early November. Buy early.

High point of the Gathering – Eleven massed pipe bands playing “Scotland the Brave”. One needn’t be Scottish to be moved.

Her Majesty, in person, looks just like she does on TV.

We stayed the weekend in the Ogston Suite at Glendavan House (http://www.glendavanhouse.com/ ) .

Run, don’t walk, to your phone and make reservations before the Milnes come to their senses and triple the prices.

I can only say that the website understates the beauty, comfort, warmth and welcome that were ours.
Very Highly Recommended

Sunday, we toured the countryside; visiting Tomintoul (http://www.whiskycastle.com/ ) where we purchased a few souveniers, Dufftown and Craigievar Castle (http://www.nts.org.uk/Property/Craigievar-Castle/ ) We quite liked the Castle.

The countryside, even though the heather was well beyond its peak, was beautiful.

Restos:

Kildrummy Inn: A country inn with a welcoming presence and good food. Especially the fish. Recommended
Deeside Hotel: A very comfy, pleasant ambience. Good food at reasonable price. Recommended
Darroch Learg: A very nice upscale dining experience. Expensive, but not unreasaonable. Recommended

Off to Beauly, near Inverness.

ira is offline  
Oct 7th, 2013, 08:36 AM
  #50  
 
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sounds fun, Ira. the last time i went to Scotland with DH was about 30 years ago, and it rained.

the time before that It was with my parents about 45 years ago and i had a verucca.

you might even persuade me to go back!
annhig is offline  
Oct 7th, 2013, 08:42 AM
  #51  
 
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Wonderful read, ira. Sorry to laugh about your GPS wrong turn.
TDudette is offline  
Oct 7th, 2013, 08:51 AM
  #52  
 
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I continue enjoying your report. I love your sense of humor.

Thanks for the pronunciation tips and the recommendations for Zoloft.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Oct 10th, 2013, 11:04 AM
  #53  
ira
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Aboyne (Braemar) to Beauly (Inverness)

Due to increasing chest congestion, we got off to a late start for our voyage North. We had just enough time to be able to stop at Ballindaloch Castle (http://www.ballindallochcastle.co.uk/index.php/welcome ) and Pluscarden Abbey (http://www.pluscardenabbey.org/home.asp ).

Both sites were interesting, and worth the price of admission.

We were unfortunate in arriving in Inverness in rush hour traffic, which turned out to be something of a nightmare, even though the TomTom worked very well.

We were calmed by a scenic drive along the Beauly Firth.

We were very pleased with our stay at Chrialdon House (http://www.chrialdon.co.uk/ ). You can take a virtual tour at http://www.mikeleslie.co.uk/blog/chr...tual-tour.html . Our room was the upstairs double. Recommended

Mrs Crawford was a lovely hostess, and (as Sherlock Holmes might say) “has as good an idea of breakfast as any Scotchwoman". She also made reservations for us at the Oakwood.

Our first night we stayed in town.

The next day we drove up through the mountains to Ullapool, by the Atlantic, and returned via Bonar Bridge

Dinner at the Oakwood Restaurant (http://www.spanglefish.com/oakwoodrestaurant/index.asp ) was one of those experiences that foodies dream about – a small, out-of-the-way place that seems to be just a local eatery and offers really, really good food at really, really reasonable prices. Highly Recommended

My Lady Wife is still raving about the salmon. I had the venison and kidney casserole – something that one doesn’t find often in Madison, GA. We finished with a generous helping of ice cream.

Gaby, the chief cook and bottle washer, came out to meet with us. Lovely person.

PS, BYOB, there is no corkage charge. In case you forget, there is a wine shop about 7 min away by car.

Returning home, we had the first of several “Twilight Zone” experiences.

The TomTom had guided us to the Oakwood along a route that was about the same as the Google map suggests. This took us about 30 min.

Coming back, we went by a different route, and were in Beauly in only 15 min.

The next day we set off for Loch Lomond via Loch Ness, Oban and Inverary Castle. The last has a nice tea room.

ira is offline  
Oct 10th, 2013, 12:49 PM
  #54  
 
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Returning home, we had the first of several “Twilight Zone” experiences.

The TomTom had guided us to the Oakwood along a route that was about the same as the Google map suggests. This took us about 30 min.

Coming back, we went by a different route, and were in Beauly in only 15 min.>>

what on earth did we ever do without GPS?

thanks for the recommendations. you seem to have the knack of finding nice places!
annhig is offline  
Oct 10th, 2013, 07:00 PM
  #55  
 
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what on earth did we ever do without GPS?

Learned to red maps?
Michael is offline  
Oct 10th, 2013, 07:10 PM
  #56  
 
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correction: read maps
Michael is offline  
Oct 10th, 2013, 07:33 PM
  #57  
 
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Chialdron House looks beautiful! Thanks for the rec... Filing it away for the future
TexasAggie is offline  
Oct 10th, 2013, 11:49 PM
  #58  
 
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Ira, I am so pissed off. You were within 60 miles of me and we didn't meet!!!

Fantastic report, old son. Fantastic
sheila is offline  
Oct 11th, 2013, 08:57 AM
  #59  
 
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correction: read maps>>

or even learn to READ, michael!

PS -I love maps.
annhig is offline  
Oct 11th, 2013, 05:09 PM
  #60  
 
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I too love maps. On my recent trip someone was giving me directions, "Go up this street a few blocks and turn right over the bridge, etc. etc..." She saw me trying to draw a map as she explained so I could see things in my head. She shook her head, went over to the computer and printed out a google map of that city section. Then I got it!

A few years ago I was visiting one of my colleagues whose son I had as a fourth grader. She said that her son always said he loved doing the maps in fourth grade and now collects them. His apartment walls are covered with maps he has collected--topographic maps, old maps, road maps, etc.

I think map reading is partially a learned thing, but some people just don't "get" it about maps. They just can't see the connection between maps and where they are going.
irishface is offline  

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